Playa del Carmen’s Bright Green Beaches

This week is Playa del Carmen Week here on the blog, and boy do I have tons of pictures for you guys!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the area, Playa del Carmen (or “Playa”, as the locals call it) is located in the middle of the Riviera Maya, a 1 hour drive down the coastal highway from Cancun. The island of Cozumel, a popular dive destination, is set just off the coast of Playa del Carmen.

Jorge and I took the ADO bus down to Playa del Carmen on Friday evening for a 2-night stay with Xperience hotels, which was lovely! I’ll be blogging all about our trip throughout the week, with hotel reviews, restaurant reviews and more.

Let’s brighten up Monday with some beach photos, shall we?

 

Wah Wah Beach Club

We had lunch Saturday afternoon at Wah Wah Beach Club, located by the southern end of Playa’s main pedestrian street, Quinta Avenida. It was a bright and sunny day, but on the horizon there were heavy storm clouds over the island of Cozumel. In some of these shots, you can even see the curtains of rain way off in the distance.

(click to enlarge)

 

Mamita’s Beach Club

Jorge and I spent Sunday morning at Mamita’s, Playa del Carmen’s most well-known beach club, located at Calle 28 near the northern end of Quinta Avenida. It was a beautiful, beautiful day with tons of fluffy clouds!

squinting into the sun!

I love how green the water is in Playa. Cancun’s ocean has more of a turquoise blue that I love, but there’s something special about the bright emerald green!

So tell us … What’s your favorite beach?

Sunday at Isla Blanca Beach

Let’s go to the beach -each,

Let’s go get away.

Those are the lyrics I listened to while I packed our backpack for our beach trip yesterday. Nothing works like Nicki Minaj to get me pumped for a day out!

I’ve always heard great things about Isla Blanca, a beautiful spot just up the coast from Cancun. It’s a mostly virgin area, with just a few mansions set along the beach along with 1 or 2 restaurants. The drive from downtown Cancun took about an hour, first passing through Puerto Juarez then heading north along a jungle-lined highway filled with pink flowers. Eventually, the highway turns into a rough, winding path through the jungle that takes you to an almost untouched beach and lagoon.

We parked the car on the side of the road and were immediately greeted by the loud chirping of bugs all around us. I’d never heard bugs that noisy, and it was so cool being in the middle of nowhere.

Spotting the bright turquoise water on the horizon, I knew the trek north would be worth it.

We had arrived before most of the crowds and had our choice of spots on the sand. To lay out our pareos, we had to clear some of the seaweed out of the way. Then, Jorge turned on our iPod speakers and we took in the scenery while listening to some Sugar Ray and reggae.

The water itself was ideal: crystal clear! There were no plants underfoot and the temperature was cool but not too cold. It’s no secret that Jorge and I hate waves, but the waves here were soft enough not to be a problem. We also had some pretty good views of Isla Mujeres and Cancun’s Hotel Zone off in the distance.

After a swim or 2, the blogger in me had the urge to explore. I walked to the nearby lagoon and a bit up the beach, and found tons of beautiful sights!

Taken from the beach, with the lagoon on the horizon

The lagoon

The only negatives of this beach were the large amounts of seaweed on the beach and the lack of shade. Other than that, it was amazing. No beach is perfect, right?

Our little group of friends filled the afternoon with napping, exploring, swimming and snacks before trekking back to Cancun. I loved the untouched feel of Isla Blanca, and I hope to make it back someday.

 

Gringation’s Isla Blanca Tips:

  • Sunscreen. Always.
  • Umbrella. A secluded, untouched beach also means no beach club, so loungers and umbrellas are in short supply. There was lots of jungle, but alas no palm trees for shade. Bringing along your own umbrella is a great idea if you’re not used to a lot of sun.
  • Snacks and several large bottles of water. Again, a secluded beach means hardly any restaurants.
  • Got a well-behaved dog? Bring him along! We saw tons of people with their dogs on this beach, and it looked like so much fun. Just make sure to be near some shade and to supply plenty of fresh water for your pet.
  • Pocket change. There was a bathroom area on our stretch of beach. Cost: $5 pesos
  • Go on a weekday. We went on a Sunday, and tons of locals showed up by early afternoon. Luckily there was still plenty of room right by where we were, but certain areas got quite crowded.

 

Day Off on Isla Mujeres

 

**I’ve been featured in a guest post at CancunIsSafe.com again!! Check out my Top 5 Tips for Summer Break in Cancun.**

 

Jorge’s work schedule was changed to the evening shift, so I didn’t see him much at all during the week. However, they gave him Sunday off, which is also my day off! Hurray!

There was beautiful weather on Sunday, so we took the ferry over to Isla Mujeres for a much-needed beach day on Playa Norte (North Beach).

Here are the best pics of the day:

On the ferry

On the ferry

Marina

Our palm tree

My question for you today: Have you gotten sunburned yet this year? (’cause I sure did!)

 

Barcelo Maya Resort: The Beach

I have a confession to make… Playa Norte (North Beach) on Isla Mujeres is no longer my favorite beach.

The beach I went to last Wednesday “blew it out of the water” (pun intended).

When we went to the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe resort for my cousin’s wedding (more on that later), I wasn’t expecting to find such an incredible beach. So, so many palm trees. Pool-like water. No seaweed. Breathtaking.

Even though there were so many of us in the water, several schools of large silver fish had no qualms about swimming around us, between my knees, and along my feet. I was actually screaming, smiling and jumping up and down out of sheer joy. Why can’t every day be like this?

Somebody please slap me if I ever decide to move away from the Caribbean.

What’s your favorite beach in the world?